Q&As

Is a party in civil proceedings required to disclose documents made available to it in related criminal proceedings? Does it make any difference that the documents in question are equally available to all parties to the civil proceedings?

read titleRead full title
Produced in partnership with David Sawtell of 39 Essex Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 20/01/2017

The following Dispute Resolution Q&A produced in partnership with David Sawtell of 39 Essex Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Is a party in civil proceedings required to disclose documents made available to it in related criminal proceedings? Does it make any difference that the documents in question are equally available to all parties to the civil proceedings?
  • Disclosure, inspection and reliance
  • Disclosure and inspection
  • Reliance

Is a party in civil proceedings required to disclose documents made available to it in related criminal proceedings? Does it make any difference that the documents in question are equally available to all parties to the civil proceedings?

At the outset, it is important to distinguish between three separate, if related concepts: disclosure; inspection; and reliance on a document.

Disclosure, inspection and reliance

A party’s disclosure obligation is to search for, and disclose, documents currently or formerly in a party's control. Disclosure is defined by CPR 31.2 as stating that the document exists or has existed.

There is a difference between not disclosing a document (in which case the other side may never know it has existed) and not allowing inspection of a document. CPR 31.3 confirms that a party to whom a document has been disclosed has a right to inspect that document except where a number of exceptions apply.

Even if a party has a document in its possession which it has disclosed and allowed inspection of, it might still require permission to rely on it as part of its case. In civil proceedings, a party to whom a document has been disclosed may use the document only for the purpose of the proceedings in which it is disclosed unless:

  1. it has been read to or by the court, or referred to, at a hearing held in

Related documents:

Popular documents